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HENRY WHITNEY BELLOWS - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 01/30/1879 - HFSID 78431

 

HENRY WHITNEY BELLOWS
Unitarian minister Henry Whitney Bellows wrote this letter in 1879 to tell the recipient that he didn't have any copies left of his Cornell baccalaureate speech. Bellows was president of the United States Sanitary Commission, which improved the lives of Union soldiers and helped treat the wounded during the American Civil War.
Autograph letter signed "H.W. Bellows". 1 page, 4½x7, 1 sheet folded, 2 binder holes at left edge. New York, Jan. 30, 1879. In full: "Dr. Sir , I am sorry to say I have not a single copy of my Cornell Baccalau-reate left, &I can give you no help, except by saying that by writing to some acquaintance at Ithaca, you would probably secure it. Very truly yours". American Unitarian clergyman and author Bellows (1814-1882) is probably best remembered today for co-founding the United States Sanitary Commission (USSC) during the American Civil War. The USSC, officially created on June 18, 1861, was one of the largest soldier's aid agencies during the war and improved camp conditions and food for Union and captured Confederate soldiers and assisted evacuation and treatment of the wounded. Before it was disbanded in 1866, it also helped Union veterans secure bounties, back pay and pensions. Bellows was the USSC's first and only president. He graduated from Harvard Divinity School in 1837. A brief pastorate in Mobile, Alabama (1837-1838) turned him into a moderate abolitionist. However, Bellows reportedly refused to call slave owners evil like other abolitionists, as he'd been tempted by the good life of the South's white upper class himself. He was then made pastor of the First Congregational Church (Unitarian) in New York City, which he held until his death. An influential voice in Unitarianism, he founded the newspaper the Christian Inquirer in 1847 and edited it and its successor, the Liberal Christian for over three decades. His greatest influence on Unitarianism was his proposing and organizing the National Conference of Unitarian Churches in 1865. He served as president of the National Conference, with short breaks, until 1880. The organization was later absorbed into the American Unitarian Association. Lightly toned and creased. Signature and body of letter are lightly smeared in places but legible. Ink stain near left edge. Lightly soiled on verso (no show-through). Folded twice and unfolded. Otherwise in fine condition.


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HENRY WHITNEY BELLOWS  


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HENRY WHITNEY BELLOWS
Born: June 11, 1814 in Boston, Massachusetts
Died: January 30, 1882 in New York City, New York





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